For every unsafe action that goes unchecked, the risk of negative consequence rises. As 2015 comes to a close, we would like to bring to your attention a grim number. 13.

Each day, the United States loses roughly 13 (12.82) workers on the job and many more by indirect means and chronic illnesses. This preliminary count comes as an increase from FY 2013 of 2 percent, or 94 deaths before the official number is released in early 2016, which adds, on average, another 173 cases.

These facts, according to last month’s release of the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), highlight a total of 4,679 avoidable incidents which unnecessarily took the lives of workers.

Protecting employees, contractors, and subcontractors is both a moral and legal responsibility of workplaces, and nearly 5,000 families will spend this holiday season with an empty seat at the table.

Where Have Fatalities Increased the Most?

According to the CFOI, private goods producing industries saw an increase of 9 percent, led by the following industries:

  • Mining (up 17 percent)
  • Agriculture (up 14 percent)
  • Manufacturing (up 9 percent)
  • Construction (up 6 percent)

States (not naturalized by incidence rate) which saw the highest increases in workplace fatalities:

  • Hawaii: 64.52% increase
  • Washington: 34.88% Increase
  • Utah: 31.48% Increase
  • Wyoming 29.73% Increase
  • Oregon: 28.99% Increase
  • South Dakota: 28.57% Increase
  • Nebraska: 27.78% Increase
  • Tennessee: 23.39% Increase
  • Colorado: 21.69% Increase

These are among the 24 states which reported higher numbers in the past year including Georgia, Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Idaho, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan.

Who’s at Higher Risk?

Although a small portion of the overall fatality totals (8 percent), women saw an increase of 13% in occupational work injuries. Workers over 55 were also at risk, with a noted increase of 10 percent to 1,621—the highest number since the CFOI’s inception in 1992.

After a sharp decline, self-employed workers saw an increase in workplace fatalities, jumping 10% from 950 in 2013 to 1,047 in 2014.

All of these will be further clarified in spring 2016 when the final data are released. See how results have changed here, and learn more from the latest CFOI press release.

Preventing Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities

As an employer, it is your duty to protect workers. With fatalities on the rise and OSHA introducing a new method of allocating resources to inspections, those employers in high-risk injuries who do not take steps to reduce unsafe actions and protect employees will get caught.

How can you minimize risk and recognize the productivity, profitability, and engagement that comes with an effective Safety Management System? By learning where you can improve and improving it.

Make 2016 your safest year ever. Optimum Safety Management can evaluate your Safety Management System effectiveness and provide you the direction, training and guidance to bring safety to your organization. Contact us before it’s too late.

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